Coliban Water has released its allocation forecast for the 2019/20 rural season, announcing that initial advice suggests that the season could open at 100 per cent allocation.

Manager Regional Liveability, Steve Healy, said the forecast is initial advice at this stage and not what the final rural allocation may be when the next season opens in mid-spring.

“Our opening allocation will be determined and announced on 1 July 2019,” Mr Healy said.

“It is based on our assessment of available water for the next two rural seasons and what we anticipate to be available in storage for the 2022/23 rural season.

“Our catchment storages, near Kyneton, are still in a good position after the peak summer demand period, despite some record high water demand days in January and a hot dry summer.”

Coliban Water has nine separate water supply systems across the region, each with different supply source and level of water security which are all reliant on rainfall over winter and spring.

“We manage our water resources for dry conditions. The diversification of our supply systems has given us greater access to water to ensure we have supply in store,” Mr Healy said.

“In January, we commenced pumping water via Goldfields Superpipe and used our allocation in Lake Eppalock to supply towns in our Coliban Northern system, which includes Bendigo.

“This reduces the demand on our catchment storages, which are the only supply for towns in our Coliban Southern system, including Castlemaine, Kyneton, Malmsbury, Maldon and Harcourt, and our rural network.

“We received 101mm of rain at Malmsbury Reservoir this summer, which is 17mm below our long-term average for summer and 29mm less than last year. Malmsbury, Lauriston and Upper Coliban reservoirs are currently at 67 per cent with a total volume of 46,587 megalitres.

“We anticipate our storages will receive adequate inflows over winter and spring, when we traditionally receive 85-90 per cent of our annual inflow into our storages.”

Water demand this summer had increased due to the extreme heat days, and dry and warm weather experienced across the region.

“Bendigo had its largest ever daily system demand of 74.5 megalitres on Friday 25 January, which is equivalent to more than 29 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Average daily consumption in the summer ranges from 30 to 50 megalitres,” Mr Healy said.

“Everything we do to conserve water – even in the cooler months – helps our overall water security. Using water efficiently is everyone’s responsibility to help secure our water supplies, and maintain greener and more liveable communities now and into the future.”

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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